Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Basic Vegetable Soup

This is a recipe that has evolved over the last couple of months. There is always a great flexibility in vegetable soups, so feel free to personalize this to the tastes of your family. My husband really likes carrots in soups, and likes a little less potato, so we've tailored this to his preferences.

8 cups water
2 Tbs chicken base
4 medium carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 small or medium potatoes, chopped into bite size cubes
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 can green beans (can substitute 7 oz frozen, thawed)
1/2 can peas (can substitute 7 oz frozen, thawed)

In 5 qt stock pot, add 8 cups water and 2 Tbs chicken base.
Add vegetables in following order: carrots, celery, potatoes, and onion.
Cover with lid, and bring soup to boil, then turn down to a low simmer. Let simmer for 45 minutes.
Add green beans and peas, and let cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Serve; salt and pepper to taste.

Yields appx. 10 cups.

Cook's notes: I tend to add the vegetables as I'm cutting them. For time purposes, the most important thing is to get the water heating first, then start the rest of your preparations.
I love using chicken base in my soups. I feel that with bouillion cubes you are always trying to do a balancing act with the salt. I purchase the chicken base from Sam's for about $3.50. Generally, you use 1 tsp for each cup of water that is used. This is such an inexpensive alternative to buying chicken broth! Especially since each container (remember... $3.50) will make about 76 cups of broth. I also appreciate that it is a paste rather than a powder. I don't particularly like the powders because they sometimes make the broth slightly granular.

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